So last week, I spoke of “weight watching”. I’ll continue that theme again this week because it isn’t just about the weight of your suitcase. It is about the weight of EVERYTHING. Whenever evaluating what you are going to take, look at the weight of every single thing…How about the size or weight of your vanity or make-up case? How much does that little sucker weigh? Could you just as easily put those things in a no weight zip lock bag or clear mesh packaging? Yes, you could. It doesn’t look as pretty but it will save a lot of space and weight.
How about those favorite pair of jeans you like to take everywhere? Again, jeans weigh a lot – wouldn’t a pair of light weight slacks work just as well?
So, Step 2 of your weight loss program – Consider the weight of everything you are going to put in your suitcase!
(P.S. stay with me…shoes and colors are going to be addressed in coming weeks….)
Africa is one of those visited places where you instinctively feel a connection – it’s primal. During my second trip to Africa, we went to Uganda and Rwanda to track the mountain gorillas. These gorillas are one of our closest animal relatives, sharing 98.6% of our genomes and 99.6% of our DNA.
But, I had to know how I was attached to the human history in this land, so I participated in the National Geographic Genographic Project. You send a swab of saliva and they trace your mitochondrial DNA roots. This is not a genealogical tree like you normally think – mother/father, grandfather, on up the ladder.
It traces your DNA to the origin. My origin starts with Branch L3 which originates from “Mitochondrial Eve” born about 180,000 years ago in East Africa. She is the ancestor of all living non-Africans.
The L branch is shared by all women alive today, both in Africa and around the world. The L3 branch is the major maternal branch from which all mitochondrial DNA lineages outside of Africa arose.
From there my DNA line moves up East Africa and Asia. (N Group - 60,000 years ago), on to West Asia (R Group - 55,000 years ago), across Russia (U Group – 47,000 years) and then to Scandinavia (U5 Group – 30000 years ago). One in five Finns belongs to the U5 Group! This is as far as the genographic project has gotten…hopefully soon I will learn how and when my maternal ancestors migrated to Central Europe and the British Isles. Because DNA markers require a long time to be informative, the more people who participate in the project the faster it will move along.
At least now I know how to more concretely appreciate my emotional attachment to my African ancestors and travels.
Normally around this time of the year when we hear the words “Weight Watching”, we think about the diets we resolve to keep AFTER the first of the year. However as travel expert consultants, when we say these words we are thinking about your holiday packing.
I recently returned from a 24 day trip to Australia. For this latest trip, my bag weighed about 35.2 pounds total – which is about 5-10 pounds heavier than my usual weight for this length of trip since my husband kept stuffing his clothes and paraphenalia into my bag!
The first packing tip. Think obsessively about how much everything you are taking weighs. Let’s start with the item that will probably weigh the heaviest –your bag. If you don’t know how much your bag weighs and your googling efforts fail to ascertain this information, weigh yourself first and then weigh yourself hugging the bag to your waist. Subtract the difference. Voila – c’est simple!
I personally use a 22” Titelist roller duffel bag. It weighs 6.9 pounds. If your bag weighs over 8 pounds, you are losing valuable weight allowance in the bag alone. (Last May, I finally relinquished my old faithful Briggs & Riley bag; it weighed over 13 pounds!!)
I like the duffel bag because it is soft sided which accounts for its lightness but it also has a hard platform base so I have a safe place for my wine purchases! Plus lots of zippered pockets as well as a “wet pocket”. Of course, handle and wheels for easy manoeuvering. For short trips, I could carry it on as its dimension fit the requirements (10.5H X23.5W X11D = 44.5 linear inches < 45 linear inch maximum).
Step 1 of your weight loss program – weigh your luggage!
P.S. For checked luggage, most airlines limit the checked bag weight to 50 lbs before incurring additional charges. However, many of us cannot lift 50 lbs without potentially hurting ourselves so having light weight luggage is a gift to yourself!
Last day at Cradle Mountain and a great wine lunch before getting on the plane to Melbourne. Tasmania was amazing!!!
Just arrived back in Melbourne. Was in Hobart for 2 days, then up in Freycinet for 2 nights and the over in Cradle Mountain for 2 nights - no much internet last 4 days...home tomorrow.
Drive from Hobart to Coles Bay Tasmania.
Wine tasting in Tasmania. Also the beach view from our cabin.
When renting a car always take photos of any nicks or scratches at the time of rental. This will avoid at any questions or problems when you return especially when returning to a different location.
Some surprises in Australia...
Tipping - our documents indicated that there is no tipping required in Australia. However, we were initially confused because on every restaurant bill there was a place for a "tip". When we asked local people, most said "cross that out". Some said "round up slightly." We learned that the hourly wage even for restaurant employees varies between $15-$20/hour so they are not working for tips.
Coffee - Everywhere we went the specialty coffees were delicious...They have a coffee culture that they say pre-dates our Starbucks fascination....Every cappuccino I ordered in the two week stay was excellent.
Domestic flights - It was wonderful and easy to fly domestically. No removal of shoes or hats or jackets... Can take water or other liquids through security. Everyone was quite relaxed. Being Down Under definitely has it'